Updated: Aug 7, 2020
With the recent health pandemic, it is more important now than ever for your children to start moving, keep fit and build active living habits! A healthy lifestyle improves the immune system, which in turn helps the body to fight against diseases and illnesses. Definitely a no-brainer thing to do during this heath crisis.
Take this Physical Activity T.E.S.T. to ENCOURAGE and MOTIVATE your children to start moving, playing and sweating. This ‘test’ is NOT MEANT TO EVALUATE, but to provide some simple tips to kick-start a child’s active and sporting journey!
T for TRY
Every journey begins with the first step! Remember, there is no perfection but only best effort, so try to make time to bring your child out to play at the playground, to cycle at the park or simply a walk at the garden. With the onset of COVID-19, there are plenty of exercises and games resources online to keep your child occupied and active, or try something new like an online dance or kids Zumba, you never know what your child might enjoy!
E for EXPLORE
Your kids are developing and starting to form their own interests, so why not take this opportunity to let them explore a variety of sports and games. Bring them to a swim class, gymnastics session or a multi-sports class if you are not sure what your child likes or is inclined towards. The key is to keep learning fun and enjoyable, exposing them to a range of activities and allow a more holistic development rather than specializing in one sport for a prolonged period of time. Beyond just sport skills, allow your child to interact with other children in class (with safety measures in place of course!) and observe how they behave with others. You will be surprised in their capability to interact and to work (or not work) with others at that young age.
S for SUPPORT
Give encouraging feedback, praise them for their sustained focus or simply give them a high-five for every successful attempt! Every child loves affirmation and it helps when their figures of authority like the coach or parent encourages and highlights the areas they done well. The child might not remember what they did, but they will definitely remember how they felt after the class! Continue the conversation after class to find out they liked, disliked and the values or lessons they picked up. If you have observed them (which I hope you do!), point out not just areas of improvement but also moments which made you proud. With sustained emotional support, kids will definitely be more motivated to continue being involved in physical activity over a longer period of time!
T for TRAIN
No, I am not referring to grooming a national athlete or a world champion (who has time for that?!) Look to inculcate the values, attitude and life skills children should grow up with. Train your child to show respect towards others such as the other children and the coach. Train your child to be resilient in completing certain activities or exercises. Train your child to apologize if they made a mistake or damaged an equipment. No doubt it takes time, energy and patience but hey, that’s training isn’t it? Being punctual and committed, putting in the hours even when you don’t feel like it and giving it your best to achieve a positive outcome. Who said training was easy?
Let’s not take our children’s health for granted, especially now with the increase in screen time distracting them from regular physical activity. Let’s not assume your child will meet the minimum 1 hour of moderate to vigorous intensity of play time every day for significant health benefits. Take the active step to introduce them to sports, bring them out to enjoy the nature parks or simply binge-dance to ‘Just Dance’ videos on YouTube!
So… how did you fare in this physical activity T.E.S.T.?